The Art of Fugue is, in its way, the most extreme of compositions. The last Will and Testament of the greatest contrapuntalist who ever lived, the Art of Fugue has, for many years, been considered more of a thesis than a piece of music. It is a pity, for the Art of Fugue is first and foremost a living, breathing piece of music, full of passion as well as every other emotion that we have come to expect from this greatest of composers. The Art of Fugue is a keyboard piece. While it has been heard in many other arrangements, it gains from a single keyboardist dealing with its technical and emotional complexities.
Our rationale for the many pianists playing this work is to show not only the breadth of the piece itself, but also the many diverse points of view -- scholarly, compositional, and pianistic -- that can be brought to bear in this work. Every musician, if he or she is serious, will at some time confront this Mt. Everest of compositions. Every composer, scholar, and pianist is at a different place on their journey to enlightenment as a musician. We hope that by hearing a broad cross-section of the best musicians that Boston has to offer we will enlighten you both about this mighty work and about the wonderful fertile ground that is the Boston music scene.© Craig Smith